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Michael Dym, V.M.D.
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Michael Dym, V.M.D.
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Dr. Michael Dym
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How To Hire A Professional Pet Sitter

September is Pet Sitter Education Month, a month-long observance founded by Pet Sitters International to help spread awareness about the importance of working with a qualified professional when your pets need care.
Like most pet parents, you may not trust just anyone to care for your pets. You might also feel wary of a stranger coming into your home. Professional pet sitters care for pets for a living. They have the experience, qualifications, and expertise to keep your pets safe and happy when you’re away.

Finding A Professional Pet Sitter Near You
There are a few important things that distinguish a career pet sitter from a hobby pet sitter.
While most pet sitting visits and dog walks are uneventful, your pet sitter should be prepared for emergencies. They should be insured for liabilities, injuries, and property damage. Your sitter should also be certified in pet CPR and first aid.
Professional pet sitters are certified through the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (NAPPS) and/or Pet Sitters International (PSI). To become certified, your pet sitter will have had to take courses on pet care, health, emergency protocols, business management, customer service, and liability. Both associations have professional directories that you can use to find a certified pet sitter that services your area.

First Steps To Working With A Pet Sitter
If you’ll need pet care during a holiday, make sure to make your reservation as soon as possible. Even for non-holiday trips, you’ll want to plan in advance to ensure there is enough time to schedule a meet-and-greet before services begin.
At the meet-and-greet, you and your pet sitter will go over payment options, your pet’s schedule, any special needs such as medications, and your emergency contacts. You may also have to sign a contract. At this time, you will need to provide a copy of your house key or a key code that can be used to access your home when you’re away.
Once you have had your meet-and-greet and have set up your account with your pet sitter, they will likely allow you to book services through an app, a website, or via text or email.

Things To Know When Hiring A Pet Sitter
Most pet sitters can accommodate your schedule and your pet’s unique needs. However, there are some things you should keep in mind.
Pet sitters generally will not share duties for liability reasons. This means you may not be able to save money by having a friend or neighbor alternate pet sitting visits with the sitter. Should an emergency or incident occur when the non-professional caretaker is visiting, your pet sitter would not want to risk being held liable.
When you’re away, pet sitters can perform general house-sitting duties like watering plants, collecting mail, and alternating lights and blinds to make it appear as though someone is home to dissuade any would-be burglars. If you’re in need of any add-on services, your pet sitter will likely be happy to accommodate you, just make sure to let them know in advance.
Every pet sitter is different. It’s important to find someone with whom you feel comfortable. It may make sense to seek someone who specializes in pets similar to yours, or who shares similar values. You may need to talk to several pet sitting companies or even seek a recommendation from your veterinarian to find the right sitter for your family.